Posts Categorized: Land Conservation

MEP and members urge agreement on bonding

Posted by & filed under Funding for the Environment, Groundwater protection, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, Sign-on Letter, Water.

Minnesota Environmental Partnership and our member groups delivered the following letter to Governor Dayton and Legislative leaders calling for the Legislature to reach an agreement with the Governor on a bonding package that includes the full $210 million in funding for key priorities for our Great Outdoors. Read the full text of the letter below:… Read more »

Buffer Initiative: It Will Help Protect Water & is Flexible Enough to Meet Farmer Needs

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Clean Water, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, Water.

By George Boody Governor Mark Dayton announced in January his proposal to require an additional 125,000 acres of perennial vegetation along lakes, rivers and streams. There is a long history of utilizing such living borders to filter out fertilizers and herbicides, while fortifying streambanks and reducing the amount of eroded soil that ends up in… Read more »

Frac Sand’s Wild Refugees

Posted by & filed under agriculture, clean energy future, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, oil, Wildlife.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project There’s a farm near the Jackson County, Wis., community of Hixton that is in the process of being destroyed by being turned into a frac sand mine. I would say it’s a least a couple of hundred acres. It’s at the intersection of Highway 95 and Green (but not… Read more »

Forever Green: Relaying Resiliency

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Clean Water, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, Water.

To Matthew Ott, three words could make all the difference as to whether farming systems that protect the soil year-round in Minnesota become a consistent agricultural presence in the state. “For me, the most exciting thing is to be able to use the term, ‘cash cover crops,’ ” says the University of Minnesota graduate student…. Read more »

A Little Dirty History

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

The United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. That’s fitting, given how reliant the entire world is on keeping our soil in place, as well as keeping it healthy. But this isn’t exactly new information: years ago I happened upon a 1953 pamphlet called Conquest of the Land Through… Read more »

Saving Minnesota’s Grasslands: Conservation, Cattle & Community

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

It’s that age-old struggle: accepting a little short-term disturbance in the name of long-term stability. Dave Trauba regularly faces the challenge of explaining that tradeoff to hunters who visit the Lac Qui Parle Wildlife Refuge in western Minnesota only to find their favorite spot for shooting pheasants has recently been grazed by cattle from a… Read more »

First Test of 2013 MN Frac Sand Law is Successful

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Energy, EQB and Environmental Review, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Global Warming, Health, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog, oil, rural, Water.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project The owner of a controversial Houston County silica sand mine was notified Monday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that he must stop mining and apply for a DNR Silica Sand Mining Trout Stream Setback Permit. The Erickson silica sand mine in Houston County’s Yucatan Township is… Read more »

Grazing as a Public Good in Western Minnesota

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

As a Nature Conservancy scientist based in a Midwestern state, Steve Chaplin thinks a lot about the impact agriculture has on ecological treasures such as native tallgrass prairie. “Other than plowing, grazing has probably been responsible for the degradation of more prairie than any other source,” says Chaplin, who is in the Conservancy’s Minnesota field… Read more »

Sand, Land & Land Stewardship

Posted by & filed under agriculture, clean air, Clean Energy, clean energy development, clean energy future, Energy, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

By Johanna Rupprecht, Land Stewardship Project For longer than I can remember, my family has taken the same route from our farm in southeast Minnesota to visit my grandparents in north-central Wisconsin. The first leg of the four-hour trip takes us across the Mississippi River and through the farmland, pastures and rolling, wooded hills of… Read more »

Snirt: A Stain on the Landscape

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

A drive through Farm Country this winter is a revelatory experience. Revelatory in that the impacts of planting the landscape to monocultures of corn and soybeans and plowing the ground black as soon after harvest as possible are there for all to see. The revealer? All that “snirt” one sees in road ditches across the… Read more »